Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How 18-Month-Old Twins Fly

If you've read my posts of recent days, you know that I haven't had a good go of it. I love my 9 kids, I really, REALLY do, but I think I love them best when we are all at home, not galavanting across the country, especially the twins.

First of all, transporting two suitcases, two carseats, two purses (as my mother came along to help, shown on right) and two babies in umbrella strollers isn't as easy as it may seem, even for two people. On the way to Utah, my sister with the PhD. was along to help, who is great at taking charge and finding the most efficient way to perform a task, but without her help on the way back, it didn't go as well.

I won't dwell on the actual flight, suffice it to say that the babies truly do not like to be restrained to sitting on our laps. At one point, Twin B screamed and screamed and screamed, straining at my taught arms to get down, for almost 20 minutes until he finally fell asleep from exhaustion. Question: why is it, that when there is a baby crying, people feel to look over, sometimes repeatedly, at said baby and parent? Are they trying to help? It does not help. Are they trying to express that they would like me to do something different? If you have a better idea for how to make my baby happy, I'm all ears. Are they looking over to offer sympathy? Not our fellow-fliers. I know a sympathic look when I get one. So yeah, imagine four flights of that, times two babies, and you have an idea of what the actual time in the air was like. Truthfully, the afore-mentioned experience was probably the worst of it. The rest of the time was spent bending over to get out toys and snacks from our bags stowed under the seats and trying to keep the people in front of us from actually feeling our tray tables being slammed, over and over, against their seats. The babies loved that.

Let's get back to how we transported our crew. Firstly, I thought it would be smart to purchase two small unbrella strollers for their easy-fold and easy-transport capabilities. Plus, it was better (and cheaper) than a double stroller because one person wouldn't bear the brunt of pushing them both all the time. We could split them up if need be. As mentioned above, things worked out fine while my sister with the PhD. was with us, but once my mom and I were on our own, we had to mix things up a little.

Here are the items we had to transport...


Here are the babies we had to transport...


My mom took the items and I took the babies. There was only one problem. It is very hard to push cheap umbrella strollers with one hand and I had two strollers and only two hands. So I came up with a brilliant idea. I had intelligently saved two large twisty-ties from some toy packaging, knowing that they would come in handy somehow, and used these to tie the strollers together in two places, like so...



(Aren't my shoes and toenails cute?)

At first, it wasn't tight enough on the bottom and the strollers would keep bowing in and out as I pushed them. At one point, a well-dressed, middle-aged man walked up to me as I was veering back and forth and asked if there was a Babies R Us near where I lived. I said, ".....um...." and before I had time to answer, he stated that they make clasps that can be attached to umbrella strollers in order to secure them together for just such a scenario as this. I humbly thanked him, my mother and I marveled at how he would know such a thing, and I tightened the bottom twisty-tie, then went on my way. The tightening did the trick, and we thought, clasps smasps, who needs the well-dressed, middle-aged man's advice? We were fine. Perfectly fine. Anyone know if Babies R Us has free shipping? Just wondering...

During our layover in Albuquerque, my mother and I had the pleasure of waiting for two and a half hours for our next flight to arrive. I sat at a table and ate a cinnamon roll with the sleeping baby I had in my stroller, as I was about to throw up, and my mother took Twin B for a walk in his sroller. See? Sometimes we needed to separate. As I was sitting, I observed a father holding his 6-month-old baby high up in the air with one hand, with his young wife saying, "Danger. Danger. Please put her down. Danger." This did not deter the father, for he kept repeating similar behavior over and over again, with his poor wife repeating the words, "danger, danger".

In a few minutes, they noticed me and Twin A and the father looked over at his baby and said, "Now why can't you go to sleep like that baby over there"? I thought I would pipe up and say, "Say, because Dad, you keep throwing me up in the air!"

He and his wife were good-hearted and laughed, then we began to talk. I mentioned that I have 9 kids and they asked me if I had any good tips for flying with babies, as this was the first time their baby would be on an airplane. I said that you would think I would, but no, I had absolutely no good tips for flying with babies. When my mother walked up a few mintues later. I said, "Mom, they want to know if we have any good tips for flying with babies." She threw her head back and laughed loudly, brought her head back to it's normal position, the smile left her face and she said, "No. We have no good tips at all."

The young couple then said that they thought their baby was teething and asked if I had any advice for that. I said, "Well, there are these tablets, I've actually never tried them....called....."

"Humphrey's?" They asked.

"Yes, yes, those are the ones. Have you tried those?"

They stated that they had purchased a box, but then read the ingredients, of which one happened to be coffee. I had discovered earlier that they were mormon, and drinking coffee to a mormon is like eating a pig to a Jew. "Oh!" I stumbled, "Well, I have never actually tried them, they were just recommended by my chiropracter. I guess I just try to make sure they have a lot of water at all times and something cold to chew on when things get too bad."

My mother then piped in, "When it comes to parenting, my daughter is kind of a minimalist."

I have no idea what that means, but she could be referring to the fact that I don't ALWAYS use soap when I bathe my babies or to the fact that my kids usually start making their own breakfasts when they're 3. Who knows, but I'm going to take it as a compliment. I don't think I could function with this many kids any other way.

After my mother's comment, I said, "You know, I have a blog almost completely dedicated to advising younger mothers on homemaking and parenting, but you have specifically asked me for two pieces of advice today and I have been able to help you with neither. So much for my 20 year of experience!"

They both laughed sweetly, then eventually left to take their baby for a walk in the safety of her stroller. It made me wonder.....have I really learned all that much having 9 kids? I guess I have learned some, but I haven't learned how to fly, oh, except for one tip we picked up on the 45-minute final flight. The babies discovered pen and ink and how to apply it to a medium. THIS medium, photographed at the baggage claim...


(You may click photo to enlarge to see the artistic detail.)

After 13 hours of travel, we finally arrived home. Thanks for listening...

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10 comments:

Amanda B. said...

Ya- we have never flown with our kids. Cost is one reason.....you just described the other. :)

Glad you are home safe!! Certainly looks like an adventure! :)

Manda Mae said...

i have traveled many a time to go across the country with small children and babies alone.... babies + flying = no bueno... so sorry it was ruff... but glad you are home and had an experience to blog about... 9-)

~*Michelle*~ said...

Looks like you survived quite the adventure....glad you all are home safe. :)

Happy to have "found" you......will be back!

Emily said...

Oh my, I do not envy you. I can barely handle one 16 month old and three other little kids. Can't imagine twins. You were in Utah and didn't come to visit? JK. Although I would have been happy to watch the twins while you scaled the rock wall.

Kandis Design said...

Portuguese! =)

Luvmy9 said...

Advice that is always good for any situation: "Just live through it." or, alternately, "This too shall pass." The latter sounds kinder, perhaps. The former, although a little cold, is the truth. I mean, it's what we did. Right?

dddiva said...

I stumbled across your blog through entrecard- fun, fun.
I was lucky with my girls they loved to and were good fliers- Ian- meh. I do have a few hints and tips if you're brave enough to take them again. ;)
I'm going to poke around a bit then I'll be back to catch up when I have a bit more time.
Nice to "meet" you.
http://myloonyverse.com

Melinda said...

I never had to fly with a baby! You are brave to take two! I am glad that you went it was so good to see the kiddies! Sad we didnt get to visit more. Too mnay people..Not enough time.

Glad you made it home.

Lydia said...

Flying with kids yes the stores that I have but only one with my hubby and then we only had a 3 week old and she slept the whole time she wasn't being admired by the crew. But I will take a long flight with kids and meet my hubby with the car any move.

Elsa said...

This reminds me of years ago when we lived in Utah. We had 6 young kids and a friend had 10. Sometimes I would call her for advice, assuming that since she had TEN, she would know something, after all. Her reply was inevitably, "I have no idea." :)